What to do in Savannah: A Guide for Wellness Lovers
Despite losing a personality contest to Charleston for several years running, Savannah hasn’t lost its status as an up-and-coming wellness destination. The historic downtown area is super walkable, which makes it a great spot for health enthusiasts who are looking to add some more steps to their day. Except for a few cooler months in the winter, Savannah has great weather pretty much year round (and for travelers from places like New England or the midwest even those cooler months feel balmy!). Film crews seem to love the town too, with television shows like The Act and movies like The Glorias being shot locally in recent months. Whether you’re planning a wellness weekend or a full-on wellness week (you deserve it), here are our favorite things to do and places to stay in Savannah, Georgia.
Where to Stay
Catherine Ward House Inn
If you are looking for quintessential Savannah we highly recommend the Catherine Ward House Inn. Famous for its freshly made breakfasts this 1880s Savannah Inn is bright and airy and only ½ a block from Forsyth Park and its famous fountain. Their comfy chairs on a super inviting front porch loaded with flowers is one of our favorite spots to read and spin away an afternoon anywhere.
Historic Inns of Savannah
Savannah may be best known for its Inns and B&Bs oozing with warmth and gracious southern hospitality. They are everywhere and a great option for a true feel of the city. Historic Inns of Savannah is a collection of the best of the best, 6 lovely spots that range from super romantic to historic. We love them all for different reasons but The Marshall House is a Savannah classic. Built in 1851 and recently restored, the hotel is full of historical artifacts and photos. The beautiful exterior will take you right back to 19th century Savannah. Their library hosts various events, such as history talks and live music. A nightly wine and cheese reception and delicious bistro-style breakfast are just a few more reasons to book your stay. If relaxation is at the top of your to-do list, grab a lemonade, lounge on one of their front porch rocking chairs, and watch Savannah go by.
Named Savannah’s Coolest Hotel by Fodor’s and one of the Best Hotels in the South by Southern Living, the Kimpton Brice is the perfect blend of southern beauty and modern flair. The boutique hotel’s location in the heart of Savannah’s historic district is just one perk. The views of Washington Square, outdoor pool, in-room spa services, secret garden, outdoor cocktail lounge, and free bikes don’t hurt either. It’s truly a wellness lover’s dream. Don’t stress about getting behind on your workout routine; the Kimpton offers a 24-hour gym and yoga mats in every room (with pilates and meditation programs on the TV). Or, just cruise around the city on one of those free bikes!
The Mansion at Forsyth Park
This restored Victorian mansion is one of Savannah’s finest and it’s no secret why. Housed in the center of the historic district with an onyx marble lobby and more than 400 pieces of colorful original artwork, The Mansion at Forsyth Park leaves nothing to be desired. Unwind at their elegant spa (with everything from aromatherapy to facials), dine at their gourmet restaurant, or learn new recipes at a culinary class led by their very own cooking director. As for your wellness fix, check out their state-of-the-art 24-hour fitness center and daily yoga classes. And of course it is set right on Forsyth Park, one of the most beautiful places in Savannah to walk and the spot where many locals go for their daily strolls and runs.
What to Do
Walk the Downtown District
Great places to walk around on your own include scenic River Street, shop-lined Broughton Street, and the perennially popular Forsyth Park, where travelers can spot the famous white fountain that appears in all the travel brochures. As you wander through town, don’t forget to take in the picturesque Saint John’s Cathedral and the Old Colonial Cemetery. There also a number of guided walking tours in the downtown area, focusing on everything from the city’s history to the ghosts that are said to still roam the streets.
Get your Ghost on
No, seriously. Savannah is known for being “America’s most haunted city” so if frightening is fun for you then we highly recommend taking one of the city’s many ghost tours. You can opt for one of the Southern Gothic Bonaventure Cemetery Tours, ghost and brew on a Savannah Haunted Pub Crawl, or, our personal favorite, Genteel and Bard’s award winning Savannah Ghost Encounter walking tour.
Take an Architecture Tour
Savannah is rich with architectural history. According to the Savannah Historic Foundation, more than 40 percent of the buildings in the city are of historical or architectural significance. If you’re having trouble choosing which to see, Davenport House, Juliette Gordan Low House, and Andrew Low House are truly sights to behold.
Get your asanas in at Dancing Dogs Yoga
Savannah’s Dancing Dogs Yoga brings a whole new meaning to this ancient practice. DDY prides itself on being a yoga community centered around service, outreach, and practice that empowers people and the community. Their energizing studio space located on Broughton Street offers Baptiste Power Vinyasa Yoga. Don’t miss Beetnix Superfoods and Juice Bar, located just below the studio, for organic, vegan, and gluten-free goodies!
Spa day at Spa Bleu
Voted Savannah’s Best Day Spa for the past 7 years, female-founded Spa Bleu offers refined Southern comfort in the heart of historic Savannah. Their organic spa treatments, including massages, facials, manicures, pedicures, and thermal body treatments, will help you de-stress and rejuvenate. Best of all, Spa Bleu supports local businesses and creatives; the interior is decorated with the work of emerging Savannah artists.
Paddle it up at Savannah Canoe and Kayak
Let Savannah Canoe and Kayak be your guide to the Georgia outdoors. Take a half-day or full-day adventure with kayak and SUP tours of everywhere from Ossabaw Island narrows to Tybee (full moon and sunset paddles available). Feeling really adventurous? Sign up for a camping tour and spend the night on surrounding islands. Savannah Canoe and Kayak‘s list of services is basically endless: SUP yoga classes, kayak fishing tours, canoe and surf skiing lessons. After all, is there any better way to spend a wellness weekend than under the open sky?
Savannah on Wheels
The best way to explore Savannah and work off that Southern food? On two wheels, of course. Savannah on Wheels is the place to go for bike rentals at an affordable price. For a bike ride and history lesson, check out their Historical Guided Bike Tour.
The Savannah Stroll
Experience Savannah’s rich history and culture with an expert guide. The Savannah Stroll is the perfect introduction to this charming city. The 90-minute walk is great for families and solo travelers alike. Don’t forget to ask the guide for food and shopping recommendations after your tour!
Savannah is brimming with unique shops selling one-of-a-kind goods. Grab a piece of local art at Shop Scad, which features products made by the Savannah College of Art & Design students, facility, staff, and alumni. Stock up on bath and body products for your next pamper session at Nourish. With soaps, candles, and essential oils, consider it the organic and all-natural alternative to Bath & Body Works. Their $4 lip gloss is a cult favorite. If you’re looking for a slightly different shopping experience, Chivvies might be right up your alley. You’ll find vintage clothes, consignment items, and new products all vying for space on the same racks. Of course, you’ll also burn off some calories climbing up the staircase from Broughton Street to the upstairs store!
Where to Eat
This unique farm-to-table spot uses locally grown ingredients in each dish to help support small Georgia farmers and fisherman. Cha Bella’s mouthwatering menu offers no shortage of vegan, vegetarian, and gluten free fare. Their goat cheese and honey marinated peaches and white shrimp risotto don’t disappoint. If the weather is nice, sit outside on their romantic patio with a glass of red from their amazing wine selection.
With two Savannah locations, Kayak Cafe focuses on fresh food made with local ingredients. They have great salads, sandwiches, soups, quesadillas, and daily specials. You can even add wild-caught Georgia shrimp to your salad (trust us, it’s worth it). Try their more spacious location just off Paulsen Street in Midtown, which has a limited number of free parking spaces.
This Savannah institution has been a family business since opening its doors in the early 1900s (they still have some of the decor to prove it). Leopold’s is known for their rich ice cream, but also serve up some light bites with local flair, like the cream cheese and olives sandwich. Expect bistro-style seating and tons of movie memorabilia collected over the years by the current owner. On summer days the line tends to stretch all the way down the block. But don’t worry, the wait is never long and the staff is typically nearby to offer you complimentary ice water to keep you cool.
Zunzi’s is a Savannah favorite offering South African-inspired takeout with global flavors. Try one of their vegan sandwiches loaded with roasted vegetables and their secret sauces or their famous smoked sausage. Take Zunzi’s to any of Savannah’s beautiful parks for a better-than-average picnic.
Cotton and Rye
The perfect blend of modern and classic Southern flavor, Cotton and Rye makes everything by hand in their modern space. Yes, they make their bread fresh every morning and grind their own burgers. Their menu is full of vegan and vegetarian options. With dishes such as pumpkin lasagna, pork over root vegetables and polenta, a caramelized onion cheeseburger, and roasted fennel and cauliflower in a chimichurri sauce, every type of eater will be satisfied.
The Coffee Fox
Looking for craft coffee? Look no further than the Coffee Fox, Savannah’s coolest coffee house. Their baristas use the pour-over method for their locally roasted coffee. Coffee Fox welcomes all types of diets with plenty of alternatives available for all the vegans, vegetarians, and celiacs out there!
Forsyth Park Farmers’ Market
Ate too many cheese and grits? Then come to the Forsyth Park Farmers’ Market, which takes place every Saturday from 9 am to 1 pm, for a wide selection of fresh, locally grown produce and handmade goods. Be sure to arrive early — the best produce disappears quickly!
Sound like the perfect Savannah wellness weekend? Let us know your favorite things to do in Savannah in the comments or on social @shetravelswellco